3 out of 4 stars
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Tales from Hallowed Ground, Volume II is a collection of six short horror stories that take the reader into a world of paranormal activity. First, there's Rex, a widower, who discovers that his late wife Judy's perfume can turn anyone who wears it into a killer. Then there's Chris, a freshly released inmate on a road trip who starts to see visions of murders that happened in the different hotels and inns he lodges in. Ed and Barb are in for a terrifying experience when they move into a haunted house with their kids, Timmy and Jenna. An earthquake in Creekside Cemetery opens a portal to a past era and triggers an avalanche of paranormal activity. Four teenagers visit a burnt-down library at night, where they unknowingly trigger their own personal horror experience. An evil creature possesses a chef named Janet and causes her to poison everybody at her house party.
Such is the depth and intensity of these characters' experiences they blur the line between reality and illusion. These stories are sure to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand—a proper horror collection.
Noel Wing's collection of stories were intriguing and terrifying in equal measure. He wrote every story in the third-person narrative, and his vivid imagination was evident throughout the book. As the characters battled with creatures and forces, seen and unseen, I noticed how Wing shone the light on the extraordinary resolve of the human survival instinct. I enjoyed reading as these characters oscillated from one weird experience to another, most of them as horrific as the next.
It's one thing to have an active imagination; it's quite another to translate said imagination into a captivating story. The author's descriptive ability achieved this beautifully. It made the creatures he described and the forces behind them feel palpable. Wing spared no expense when it came to the details in the story. There were a few instances, though, where his desire to be descriptive—especially with some of the creatures—threatened to overtake the plot. This might be a subjective issue, but I found some of them quite disturbing and repulsive. Given the horror context of these stories, I understood the graphic nature of the descriptions was needed to make the story feel authentic. Still, it was just a little too much and unnecessary, in my opinion.
The best thing about this book for me was how each story wasn't just exciting but suspenseful. I liked how the author ended each story with a cliffhanger; it felt like there would be a sequel to each of them. Each ending was a loop that left me wondering and anticipating what would happen next.
I was saddened by the high number of grammar and typographical problems I found while reading. This means that it wasn't professionally edited. As detailed as the descriptions of the horrors were, the errors were a hindrance and reduced my reading speed. This was the biggest drawback of this book for me.
But for the errors I found in the book, I would have awarded it a full rating. However, I can only rate it 3 out of 4 stars. This book is perfect for lovers of horror stories, movies, and horror-themed holidays, like Halloween. It would also make an ideal gift for horror enthusiasts and anyone interested in otherworldly experiences.
Tales from Hallowed Ground, Volume II
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